Stadium option included in Old Oak consultation

Following the Government’s announcement that Old Oak Common is to be used as the main hub station for HS2, a consultation was launched earlier in the summer on proposals which could see 19,000 new homes, 90,000 jobs and a potential new sports stadium or leisure facility created in the area.

The proposed £32billion High Speed rail link between London and Northern England is set to make Old Oak Common Britain’s best connected railway station and, given the regeneration potential HS2 provides, the Government, Mayor of London, TfL and London Boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F), Brent and Ealing have developed a 30 year vision to transform the Old Oak area, which is available here www.london.gov.uk/oldoak

A new generation of trains, running at speeds of up to 225mph, will stop at the new hub station from 2026. The Vision spells out how up to 90,000 jobs and 19,000 new homes – in addition to new schools, open spaces, shops and leisure facilities – could transform the area.

A possible new 40,000 all-seater stadium has been included in the Old Oak Vision document, which is currently being consulted on by H&F. This document considers possible options for the Old Oak area to help residents consider how their locality could benefit from the regeneration that HS2 could bring to this part of the borough.

The news comes as QPR confirmed that they may be interested in a stadium as one of a number of options they are looking at. With Loftus Road’s capacity at just 18,439, the club have made finding a new ground a priority and Old Oak Common, which is just north of Wormwood Scrubs and not far from Loftus Road, has been identified as a potential site. A QPR spokesman said:

“We are looking at a number of potential options for a new stadium and believe that Old Oak could provide one possible solution. We have met with representatives of the GLA and the supporting local authorities to discuss whether a football stadium could be incorporated into any plan that comes forward for this site.”

Cllr Nicholas Botterill, H&F Council Leader, said:

“We’ve had talks with all three of our football clubs about their expansion ambitions and are aware of QPR’s interest in moving to a larger stadium. We support all of our football clubs where we can and are currently consulting residents on whether a sports stadium could be acceptable as part of the plans to create thousands of new jobs and homes around the new HS2 hub station in Old Oak Common.”

Five of the nation’s airports will be linked to the high-speed rail network for the first time through the Old Oak interchange. Central London and Heathrow will be just 10 minutes away, Birmingham will be 40 minutes direct from Old Oak and Luton, Gatwick and City Airport will all be within 45 minutes. In addition, if the Government decide to move Heathrow to a new hub to the east of London, there will be a direct connection from Old Oak via the HS1 link in less than 30 minutes.

The ideas put forward in the new Vision for Old Oak are only one possible outcome but H&F need to consider local views as part of the authorities’ Local Plan review and the Mayor’s London Plan and bring economic benefits to local centres in Harlesden, Acton, Ealing, as well as supporting connections to the White City, Earls Court, Wembley, Brent Cross and Kensal Canalside Opportunity Areas. If adopted, the ideas will also feed into a future ‘Opportunity Area Planning Framework’ being produced for the area. This framework will be used by the authorities when assessing future planning applications for development in the area.

You can read the full document and provide comments using the GLA website, at www.london.gov.uk/oldoak. Details on the possible sports stadium are on page 30, (figure 4.3) in this consultation link www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Old_Oak_Part_1.pdf

The deadline to provide comments is Friday 6 September 2013.